"The Builders," his masterwork, was distinguished by its bold composition and dark hues. Edades introduced contemporary art to the Philippines at a time when the country was still primarily conservative. The public was not ready to appreciate his creations, and none of them were sold. Although he died in poverty, he left behind an impressive body of work that has been cited as a major influence on Filipino artists such as Fernando Amorsolo and Nestor Almendros.
Victorio Edades was born on August 4, 1866 in Malolos, a town in the central Philippine province of Bulacan. He was the second child of José Rizal de Edades and Eloisa Capelo. His father was a lawyer who would go on to become one of the leading advocates for independence from Spain, while his mother came from a wealthy family of Dutch descent. They met while José Rizal was studying law at the University of Santo Tomas. After graduating in 1889, he did not practice law but instead devoted himself to art. In 1892, he married Antonia "Nanay" Palma, with whom he had three children.
In 1897, Rizal de Edades founded the magazine La Solidaridad, which published articles advocating for the rights of the oppressed people of the Philippines. This led to him being accused of treason by the Spanish authorities and he was put on trial twice.
In 1976, Victorio C. Edades was designated National Artist in Painting. Victorio C. Edades was a modernist pioneer in the Philippine art scene. Indeed, he is regarded as the "Father of Modern Philippine Painting." Using dark and melancholy colors and forceful strokes, he showed the travails of the working class in several of his paintings. He used various materials such as wood, canvas, and paper to create his works.
As a young man, Victorio C. Edades wanted to be a surgeon but ended up studying art instead. He worked as an artist and teacher until he became professor at the University of the Philippines School of Fine Arts in 1960. There, he helped develop new approaches to painting that were popular among younger artists.
His main subject matter was the daily life of the Filipino people: workers, students, farmers. He also painted scenes from around the world, including India, Morocco, and Italy. His use of strong lines and dramatic contrasts made his work very expressive. In addition, he often included his own comments on society in the form of poems or notes hidden in some of his paintings.
Victorio C. Edades died in Manila at the age of 62. But even after his death, he continued to have an influence on young artists. His son, Arlo, is also an acclaimed painter who follows in his footsteps.
It had an impact on Edades about a decade later. The thirty paintings at his homecoming exhibition at the Philippine Columbian Club carried the mark of Cezanne and Gaugin, which surprised an audience used to religious pictures or Fernando Amorsolo's bucolic landscapes. "I do not claim to be a great artist," Edades said in an interview before the show. "But I hope people will accept my work as significant enough for me to be granted a place in the Philippines' first museum of fine arts."
Edades was born on April 26, 1871 in Malolos, a town near today's capital city of Manila. His father was a wealthy landowner who owned nearly 500 acres of farmland. When he was nine years old, Victorio went to school in San Francisco where his parents lived during the months they were not in Malolos. He returned home when he was fifteen and spent three years studying art in Madrid. Upon his return to the Philippines, Edades established himself as one of the leading artists of his time. He died in 1933 at the age of sixty-three.
About ten years after Edades' death, the Philippine National Museum opened its doors to the public. The collection is divided into seven departments: archaeological, ethnological, historical, illustrative, musical, natural history, and pedagogical. There are more than 100,000 objects in the museum's archives which date back over 200 years.